How Needles Are Made

DEAR YOUNG SISTERS: You all often take

the needle in your hand: it is used in the city as

in the country; but using the needle is not all.

It has to be made, and it may be interesting and

useful to know how this is done. What then!

Behold the workman in needles cuts a steel

wire of proper size, sufficient in length for two

needles. He then sharpens the extremities upon

a grindstone of brown freestone; then he

finishes their points on a "roue de noyer" a

kind of wheel called the polisher, covered with

powdered emery mixed with oil. This done, he

cuts them in two, then he palms them; that is,

he takes five or six between the thumb and 

forefinger, spreads them fan like, and flattens

 the large end "sur un tas" that is, on a little

 anvil. In this end" is pierced the hole or eye of 

the needle.

After another dressing is given by the

palm of the hand, the two grooves in the head

of the needle are made. To do this the end

is placed between two puncheons, moved by

a "lalancier" and which work upon the

steel in the same manner as two teeth upon a

crayon, that is, so that they bite. After this

operation a new dressing is necessary. Then

follows the piercing of the eye of the needle.

For this difficult performance several movements

are necessary: two workers, two puncheons, and

two blocks "de plomV of lead. This process

with the needles is called by the workmen 


After this the eye is smoothed or rounded

so that its too sharp edges will not cut the

thread. The flattened end of the needle is also

rounded which operation is called, 

"faire le chapeau."

Still with all these operations this little

instrument is not finished it must be tempered

and polished. If it is tempered too high, the

needle is brittle; if just enough, it is soft and

without spring. It now passes through another

process with the hammer, 

"redrepees au marteau,"

after which nothing remains but to polish.

Here the genius of invention labored long before

adopting the method now in use. Imagine upon

a table a thick "plateau" or platform furnished

with handles. Between their two surfaces

are placed twelve or fifteen thousand needles

in the following manner: a piece of new

buckram is covered with powdered emery 

charged with little "paquets" (packets) of 

needles; these are recovered with emery dust 

and sprinkled with oil. The buckram is fastened 

by the two ends and drawn equally lengthwise 

which forms a roller, or "boudin." The "plateau"

 of the polishing table is kept in motion a day 

anda half or two days, making the "paquets" roll

continually upon themselves, and the needles

rubbing one against the other are polished.

They are then polished, but not finished. Next

they are put in warm soap suds to cleanse them

of the dark grease formed of the emery and oil.

But this is not all: they are then put in a box

of bran kept horizontally upon an arbor turned

by a handle. This is called "winnowing the

needles," or "Taffinage"  The mass is now ready

to pack. They are counted, then put in papers,

blue and black, labeled, and all is done and they

are at last ready to use.

"Well, young sisters, what say you? Is not

this enough care and labor in order that you

may sew and stitch and embroider? It would

be difficult to say how many millions of needles

pass through the hands of your sex day after

day. But to how many of you does the needle

call to mind something more than the labor

which it is used to perform? Our Saviour has

taught us a great lesson by this little utensil.

Said he, "It is easier for a camel to go through

the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter

into the kingdom of God." Matthew 14:24.

Then while you are plying this convenient little

instrument always keep in mind the important

fuel that our Lord once illustrated by it that it

would be easier for a camel to pass through its

tiny eye, than for one "who trusts in his riches"

to enter the golden City of God.


Mooer's Junction, N. Y.